Science of the Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

SCIENCE OF THE SUMMER SOLSTICE The word Solstice comes from the Latin solstitium meaning “Sun, standing-still.” This year the Summer Solstice occurs on June 21 at 10:07 UTC, or Coordinated Universal Time, or Zulu Time, or roughly Greenwich Mean Time. Summer Time This is also known as the Northern Solstice as the Sun is positioned directly…

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History of Juneteenth: Emancipation Proclamation

Juneteenth

JUNETEENTH June Nineteenth, or Juneteenth, marks the celebration of the emancipation of African-American slaves in 1865. While the annual celebration started in Texas in 1866 — and became an official Texas state holiday there in 1980 — this formerly obscure holiday it is now observed across the United States, and around the world, and is…

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History of Father’s Day: the Beginning

Fathers Day

HISTORY OF FATHERS DAY [NOTE: I wrote a longer and more serious version of this article for CBS.com a couple of years ago. It has been published on their network of sites for major cities around the country. You can find an example here.] Origin The celebration of Father’s Day goes back all the way…

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History of Flag Day

HISTORY OF FLAG DAY June 14 is the day the United States celebrates Flag Day. While it may not be as widely celebrated as other American holidays, it is one of the oldest. It was resolved by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, even before the conclusion of the American War of Independence, the Revolutionary…

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History of D-Day: 74 Years Ago

HISTORY OF D-DAY Seventy-four years ago, on June 6, 1944, the Allies launched an offensive on the Normandy coast of France to liberate continental Europe from the Nazi German occupation. D-Day was the largest invasion by sea in all of history, literally turning the tide. It was the beginning of the end of the War. General…

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History of June

HISTORY OF JUNE June represents the halfway point of the year, being the sixth of the twelve months of both the Gregorian calendar which we use currently in the West… and also the earlier Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar, namesake of July. Where do we get the name for June? What’s In A Name?…

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Memorial Day: Which War?

HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY: WHICH WAR? Memorial Day was not universally recognized as a shared American Holiday until after World War I. But that’s not how it started in the United States. When did it begin? Civil War Following the American Civil War or the War Between the States as it was known in the…

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History of Star Wars — 41 Year Anniversary

HISTORY OF STAR WARS Coinciding with the opening of Solo: A Star Wars Story. In 1976 I picked up a new science fiction novel called Star Wars by George Lucas. I did not know at the time that it was ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster, a popular sci-fi writer. The following May, the movie debuted…

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History of Mother’s Day

HISTORY OF MOTHER’S DAY The person most active initially in opposing the celebration of Mother’s Day is the very person who started this holiday in the US. How did that happen? Anna Jarvis’ mother died in 1905 and in her honor, Anna held a memorial in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia. She continued to campaign…

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